A Counter-intuitive Cure for Burnout

Psychiatrist and Empathy Expert: Can Empathy Help Overcome Anger Toward the Unvaccinated?

As an empathy researcher, educator and a clinical psychiatrist, I’ve recently become aware of my own limited empathy as I’ve attempted to understand vaccine refusal, grappling with my own secret feelings of disgust — bordering on disdain, as the stakes are so high — that have tested the limits of what I not only practice, but also teach.

This is certainly not the only reason for vaccine refusal, but it is critical that we understand why the golden rule of caring about our neighbor as ourselves has eroded. Why have people lost faith in participating in the public good?

Studies show that empathy has been linked to greater trust in the patient-clinician relationship, greater adherence to medical recommendations and better health outcomes. Despite these benefits, even the most well-meaning healthcare providers are being challenged right now…READ ON

A Counterintuitive Cure for Burnout

The term burnout was coined a half century ago to describe the exhaustion, cynicism, and feeling of ineffectiveness experienced by those in the caregiving and human-service professions: doctors, police officers, social workers, etc.

Over the decades it has come to be applied to more and more professions and even unpaid work as well: professors are burned out; students are burned out; retail workers are burned out; activists are burned out; parents are burned out. People feel burned out on life, in general.

Yet while the application and discussion of burnout has greatly expanded, what burnout is, exactly, and what causes it has remained stubbornly difficult to pin down….READ ON

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